Tourist arrivals up 11.5% in first half of 2014 over same period in 2013
Dubai, 18 February 2015 – The Sultanate of Oman’s tourism campaigns are now going full-blast after prestigious and trusted global travel and news publications included the country on their list of top holiday destinations for 2015. The country’s famous tourist attractions are gaining even more popularity among foreign visitors, leading to a 11.5 per cent tourist arrival growth during the first half of 2014 compared to the same period of the previous year, based on statistics retrieved from the National Statistics & Information Center in Oman.
Skift, the largest industry intelligence and marketing platform in travel, recently picked Oman as the one place to visit this year. The Sultanate’s rich heritage, desert, rugged coast and beaches, varied water sports and diving activities were cited as among its major tourist draws. Oman’s touristic appeal was also attributed to its enormous forts, green valleys, old-world bazaars, and famous traditional Arabian hospitality as well.
Oman also recently ranked 20th in The New York Times’ 52 places to go in 2015. The Middle East’s ‘best-kept secret’ in tourism has now been fully unveiled as one of the world’s highly favored places among travelers. In including the country on its list, the well-respected American publication pointed out the Sultanate’s scenic mountain peaks, dramatic coastlines, and numerous ‘wadis’ (valleys).
UK’s The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/11062259/The-worlds-most-beautiful-ports.html?frame=3005250), for its part, recognized the city of Khasab as one of the world’s 10 most beautiful ports. The city ranked number seven on the list released by the news organization. Meanwhile, Nizwa landed fifth on the Top 10 Cities list of Rough Guides (http://www.roughguides.com/best-places/2015/top-10-cities/), the leading publisher of travel and reference guides. Dating back to the 14th Century, Nizwa is one of the oldest cities in Oman, and was once the capital for a long period of time, (Source: http://omandaily.om/?p=187521). The publication took note of the city’s historical importance and its continuing appeal to artists, scholars and traders from across the region. Adding to Nizwa’s roster of recognitions is its recent selection as the Islamic Culture Capital of the Arab region for 2015.
Her Excellency, Maitha Bint Saif al Mahrouqy, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism in Oman, said: “The Sultanate is now becoming the top choice for regional and international travelers who are looking to experience the modern aspects of the Arab World while, at the same time, wanting to immerse in its rich cultural heritage and traditions. Ever since the Ministry ramped up its strategic and comprehensive tourism campaigns, we have been witnessing an increase in interests on the destination from our key markets. The dramatic growth is not the achievement of the Ministry alone, though. It is the result of collective efforts by all concerned organizations who believe in the beauty of the country and what it can offer to the global tourism stage. Furthermore, our intensified initiatives are aligned with the government’s recognition of tourism’s prominent role in job creation, heritage conservation and overall socio-economic development.”